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Lakers vs. Rockets: Start time, TV schedule and game preview

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The Lakers might have a few problems when they visit Houston.

NBA: Houston Rockets at Los Angeles Lakers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers are trying to survive a gauntlet of games that have been unkind to them, currently on a three-game losing streak. LA has won just two of their last 10 games, and taking on the Rockets in Houston won’t make matters any easier.

The Lakers took a crack at Houston a few weeks ago, losing 118-95. James Harden went off for a game-high 36 points in that outing, and the Lakers not having Kentavious Caldwell-Pope for away games over the next 20-something days is going to hurt in this scenario. The onus will be on Josh Hart, Jordan Clarkson and the entire team to slow down the force that is The Beard.

Lonzo Ball will get his second look at Chris Paul, which swung significantly in CP3’s favor last time around. Lonzo scored just two points and dished three assists, missing all four of his field goal attempts. Not great.

The downward trend in the wins column has the Lakers falling further away from playoff position, now behind the LA Clippers, Utah Jazz and No. 8 seed New Orleans Pelicans. There’s still a LOT of basketball to be played, but the purple and gold need to start adding some Ws into the equation if they want to keep the dream alive as we transition into 2018.

The Rockets have lost just four times this season, leading the NBA in offensive rating and win percentage. Will they fall to the Lakers, who are visiting Houston without their best defensive guard? It’s not quite time for a Christmas miracle yet, but you never know.

Enjoy the game!

Time: 5 p.m. ET

TV: NBA TV, Spectrum SportsNet